How to Grow a Bonsai Tree from Seed [2023]: Expert Tips from Bonsai Garden™

how to grow a bonsai tree from seed

Are you ready to begin growing your very own bonsai tree from scratch? Growing a bonsai tree from seed is an incredible journey the Bonsai Garden™ team has gone through on many occasions. And, it is not as intimidating as some may think. With the right amount of patience, knowledge, and care, anyone can do it!

In this comprehensive guide, we're going to provide you with expert tips and tricks on how to grow your very own bonsai tree from seed. We'll cover everything from where to find bonsai seeds to nurturing your seedling into a mature bonsai tree. So, let's get started!

How to Find Bonsai Seeds

how to grow a bonsai tree from seed,How to Find Bonsai Seeds

The first step in growing a bonsai tree from seed is finding the right seeds. You can find bonsai tree seeds both online and in garden centers. Online, you can explore a plethora of options from all around the world. Garden centers tend to carry more of the locally-available species. Before making a purchase, we recommend researching the trees you're interested in growing and then finding a reputable seller that provides good quality seeds.

How to Sow Bonsai Seeds

After acquiring your bonsai tree seeds, it's important to understand the best way to sow them. Different species of trees can have different sowing techniques, so we recommend researching specifically for each species.

In general, we recommend the following steps when sowing bonsai tree seeds:

  1. Soak the seeds overnight in water to increase germination rates.
  2. Use well-draining soil mixtures that retain moisture but don't get water-logged.
  3. Plant them in small, shallow pots or trays.
  4. Cover the pot or tray with clear plastic, or place it in a clear plastic bag to keep humidity high.

Once sprouts emerge, move them out of the plastic bag while continuing to keep them well-watered and ensure they receive sufficient light.

Understanding Stratification

Stratification is the process of exposing seeds to cool temperatures to simulate winter conditions. This process helps break dormancy in the seeds and can promote better germination rates.

To stratify your bonsai tree seeds, you can place them in a moist paper towel in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate for a specified period, usually no less than 4-6 weeks.

When to Sow Your Bonsai Seeds

Planted alone

Timing is a crucial aspect to consider when it comes to sowing bonsai seeds. The best time to sow your seeds is typically in the fall or early spring. This is because the temperatures are cooler, and the tree can continue to grow during its dormant period, leading to better root development.

From Seedling to Bonsai: Nurturing Your Tree

Caring for a bonsai tree is a delicate process that requires nurturing and patience. When growing a bonsai tree from seed, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Watering and Soil

One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when it comes to bonsai tree care is watering. Bonsai trees need to be kept slightly moist but not overwatered, which may lead to root rot. Another key factor to keep in mind is soil. Bonsai trees thrive in well-draining soil and soil that is appropriate for the specific species.

Light and Temperature

All plants require sunlight, and bonsai trees are no different. Place your seedlings in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Different species may require varying amounts of light, which is why it’s important to research the specific tree you’re growing. Bonsai trees also require cooler temperatures, especially in the winter months, where temperatures can be between 41°F and 59°F (5°C to 15°C), which promotes dormancy.

Pruning and Shaping

Pruning and shaping are crucial aspects of growing bonsai trees. You’ll want to encourage your seedling's growth in specific directions by pruning parts you don't want. This will help you craft the best version of your desired bonsai tree.


Fertilizer may be beneficial for your bonsai tree if it doesn't receive enough nutrients from the soil or its growing environment. However, be careful not to over-fertilize as this can stress the tree.


Is it easy to grow a bonsai tree from seed?

Growing a bonsai tree from seed is not necessarily an easy task, but it is definitely achievable with the right knowledge and patience. Remember, bonsai trees require attention, care, and finesse.

What is the easiest bonsai tree to grow indoors from seed?

Some of the easiest bonsai trees to grow from seed indoors include the Chinese elm, Japanese black pine, and the Japanese white pine.

Can I make a bonsai from any tree?

Technically, any tree can be turned into a bonsai tree with enough skill and effort. However, certain tree species are more practical and workable for bonsai-style gardening.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Don't over-fertilize your bonsai tree.
  • A well-draining soil mixture is crucial for your bonsai tree's health.
  • Pruning your bonsai is essential for creating a healthy tree with the desired shape.

Conclusion: Start Your Bonsai Tree from Seed with Confidence!

Growing a bonsai tree from seed takes patience and skill. The process may seem daunting at first, but with proper research and care, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling journey. At Bonsai Garden™, we believe that growing bonsai trees is an art that is both therapeutic and enjoyable. We hope that our expert tips and tricks have inspired you to start your own bonsai tree from seed!

Happy growing!


how to grow a bonsai tree from seed

  • "Bonsai from Seeds" by Klaus J. Becher
  • "The Complete Practical Encyclopedia of Bonsai" by Ken Norman
  • "Bonsai Secrets: Designing, Growing and Caring for your Miniature Masterpieces" by Peter Chan
  • "Bonsai: The Beginner's Guide to Cultivate, Grow, Shape, and Show Off Your Bonsai Tree: Includes History, Styles of Bonsai, Types of Bonsai Trees, Trimming, Wiring, Re-potting, and Watering" by Masao Hideyama

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